Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cayuga County 4-H Clubs

Not only did we have a "Big 5" Picnic in 1938; in April of that same year the Cayuga County 4-H Clubs held a Dramatic Festival on Friday, April 29 at the Fulton Street Auditorium and on Monday May 2 at the Emily Howland Central School.
A donated copy of the program from someone's scrapbook shows us that the County Agent that year was Francis R. Sears. Our Judges were Miss Dorothy Burns, Miss Esther Edwards, Mrs. Mabel Smith and Mr. Andrew Smith.

The Friday evening program at the Fulton Street Auditorium included the following activities:

"Orville's Big Date" by the 4-H Hill Climbers, Mrs. Leonard Jordan, Leader
"L'il Black Heliotrope" by the Owasco Wideawakes, Mrs. Grace Chase, Leader
Tumbling Act by Marjorie Bodine
"Midnight in Goose Hollow Graveyard" by the Conquest Hard Workers, Mr. R. H. Sears, Leader
Reading: "A Little Girl's Secret" by Marjorie Hoagland
"Incurable Optimist" by the Conquest Happy Homemakers, Mrs. Aldice Clary, Leader
Reading: "Here Comes the Bride" by Rosemary Williams
"Seeings Believing" by the Friendly Cloverleaf Club f Fair Haven, Miss Flora Alexander, Leader
Reading: "A Mortifying Mistake" by Gertrude Cooper
"Two's Company" by the 4-H Hill Climbers, Mrs. Leonard Jordan, Leader.

On Monday evening at Emily Howland Central School, there was a different and much abbreviated program:

"Mrs. Magician's Mistake" by the Scipio Rainbow Stars, Miss Helen Mullally, Leader
"Alien Note" by the Knights of Art, Miss Jane Foley, Leader
"Buddie Buys an Orchid" by the Barbers Corners 4-H Club, Mrs. Ray Alexander, Leader.

I'm sure everyone practiced and practiced; wouldn't you love to know who got the blue ribbon for their performance?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The 4-H in Cayuga County

I was looking through some donated items at the Town Hall and found some old 4-H programs.
One is from the 10th annual Big 5 Picnic at Enna Jettick Park held n Wed., August 3rd, 1938. The "Big 5" were the Grange, Farm Bureau, Home Bureau, 4-H Clubs and Dairyman's League.
A farm kid anticipated this event all year long. We practiced our baking, gardening, animal husbandry, sewing and other skills with an eye on the blue ribbon prize for first place. And a lucky few were selected to go on and compete at the NYS Fair in Syracuse. Heady stuff.
There is probably not a 4-her out there who doesn't have a story about how the angel food cake refused to rise or the jersey cow balked at show time.
The general program was a 10:00 a.m. judging of homemaking exhibits and livestock. At 11:00, the county horseshoe pitching tournament was held, followed by a concert by the Meridian Band.
At noon, everyone had a picnic lunch brought from home. 4-Hers certainly didn't go out to restaurants.
Sports and other contests were held starting at 1:00 p.m. and at 2:00 was the horse pulling contest. There were some real workhorses entered, and the loads they could draw amazed the crowds.
Then at 4:30 (with a repeat at 6:00) was the entertainment. In 1938, it was Les Kimris and his Aerial Act.
The Enna Jettick Park, nowadays known as Emerson Park, had several exhibits. They were on the verandah of the Pavilion and included fruit, vegetables, baked goods, crafts and other items from the 4-H, Juvenile Grange, Home bureau and Farm Bureau. After placing their items on display, an anxious 4-her would look over all the other exhibits to see how theirs stacked up against the competition.
Several local merchants and individuals are mentioned in the program for their contribution to this yearly event. Sears, Penney's, the GLF, Harry's Tire Shop, Langhams's, Fred Rondina and many others made it possible for so many to have such great times and memories of days gone by.

Stoker Family Reunion 2008

It has been a busy, busy summer so far. Last weekend was our 100th Stoker family reunion. As secretary, I was very involved in planning and execution. I am so happy to report that we all had a wonderful time!
The day was one of those beautiful summer days on Owasco Lake. People were busy renewing acquaintances with each other, and our group picture will be something to see as our guest book showed 115 signatures, from NY, PA, CA, NC and FL to mention a few states. Our family tree stretched out 16 yards long along the porch.
After we ate, we shared games and prizes and updated our family information. All the hard work was worth it.
If you do a google search for "(your family name) reunion" you may find that there is one nearby. If not, maybe enough of your family lives near enough to start the tradition yourself.

Friday, August 1, 2008

NYS Archives Visit

I am so pleased to share this information. I wrote an application for the Larry Hackman grant for local Historians last month. Yesterday, I received notice I had been successful.

What this provides is 4 expense paid days in Albany NY and the help of a research assistant at the NYS Archives for a project for Scipio.

I will be reviewing the tax and assessment rolls for Scipio and surrounding towns for 1799 - 1804 and I can't wait! The only records we have from those early years are the Town Meeting notes, and while they are invaluable there is so much more I'd like to learn.

I will also be researching Military Patent records and applications for land grants and if I have time, the records from the War of 1812.

I have visited the Archives before, and the NYS Library which is housed in the same building. I copied the 1892 census for Scipio while I was there last time, you can see them at the Town Offices.

You can get an idea of the vast amount of information available by visiting the Archives website at, or the Library at

Stoker Reunion

What a busy month this has been! Summer this year has been filled with friends and family and time spent outdoors - in between the raindrops. A week from this Sunday the Stoker family reunion will be held. It is our Centennial celebration - 100 years of reunions.
We are planning a few special activities, and there are games and prizes especially for the children. I created a Stoker family tree last night using Family Tree Maker and was amazed to find how much information we have gathered through the years. And every year it seems we learns something new. For example, through the use of, I found out in a newspaper clipping that Joseph Stoker, a brother of my ancestor, had spent over 40 years in California, returning about 1904 to Homer, NY. I had no idea! The fulton website is a wealth of information.